AC 2007 - what next for the Cup?

James Boyd looks ahead at the possibilities
I arrived in Auckland a while back with the firm belief that for purely selfish reasons I wanted the America's Cup to won by Alinghi. Ernesto Bertarelli is a cool 37 year old billionaire with the right intentions for the event and bringing the America's Cup to Europe within Easyjet striking distance for hacks wishing to visit from London, as well as the prospect of more European teams, the event's first ever return to our shores or simply for base reasons of fundamental change - all of these things, I felt, had to be a good thing for the event. Now, I am not so sure. The reaction to the America's Cup here in New Zealand is extraordinary. The most serious war in 50 years may be brewing, but from the pages of the New Zealand Herald here you wouldn't know it. Team New Zealand and either Schnack or Deano have been on the cover of the New Zealand Herald every day since I've been here. Barker's every move, every reaction is well documented and analysed to the nth degree and the Herald is not alone among the media here in being utterly obsessed with Cup fever. During the Louis Vuitton Cup there was four hours of live television coverage every day, an anchorman's nightmare on days when racing is delayed and delayed and then finally cancelled when the wind fails to materialise. Now the Cup is on and the home team are in action live TV coverage has been upped to nine hours. It is then that commentators such as Peter Montgomery, a man who could carry out a lengthy analysis of the inside of a ping pong ball and make it sound interesting, earn their money. And the media is not alone. Wearing anything which gives the impression you